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Minnesota National Guard
Friends, family send off Minnesota National Guard unit to Afghanistan

Aviation battalion will help evacuate wounded soldiers
10:36 PM, Jul 20, 2012  

It's an emotional moment for soldier and family alike, but also one filled with pride

Family and friends gathered Friday to send off 53 soldiers of the C Company 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion of the Minnesota National Guard The soldiers are going to Afghanistan and will be deployed for a year

A deployment ceremony was Friday at the St Cloud Army Aviation Support Facility About 200 people attended

The company is an air ambulance company and will provide medical evacuation support with its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters

Many of the soldiers are being deployed for a second, third or fourth time

It's the second deployment for Sgt Anthony Mastro of Zimmerman He served in 2009 in Iraq
His two kids are older this time around and understand what the deployment means
"This time will be harder (on them)," he said

Despite missing his family, Mastro said the deployment will be a good experience that he's looking forward to

This also will be the second deployment for SSG Jeremy Coudron, who is from White Bear Lake Coudron, a registered nurse, said he's glad to do his mission, which is saving soldiers' lives

That role is critical to operations in Afghanistan, said Maj Daniel O'Meara, the unit's commander He compared the soldiers to warriors

"It's time to bring your fellow soldiers home," he said

Written by
Kari Petrie
Article source with photos and video
http://www.sctimes.com/article/20120721/NEWS01/307210018/Friends-family-send-off-Minnesota-National-Guard-unit-Afghanistan?odyssey=nav%7Chead



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